Some people I talk to really despise the google doodles that show up on the pages for certain dates. Some are significant but most are not.
Mainly the reason people want to get rid of it is because they can be annoying or burdensome on browsers sometimes, personally I get rid of them because google hates America and they bother me a little. So when I cannot use Startpage Search Engine (an anon search engine powered by google) and I have to use google itself at least I do not have to see the stupid doodles.
Anyway FYI in case anyone wanted to turn them off here is a pretty nice detailed how to.
Disable Google Doodle
- There have been, over time, many threads, here, regarding disabling at least the animated Google Doodles. Some want them all done away with, but, c'mon, that's going too far. Google Doodles are genuinely works of art; they're creative and interesting; and I generally like them...
...that is, except when they're animated, like the one for mother's day, today (Sun 12 May 2013).
Still-image screenshot of animated Mother's Day 2013 Google Doodle
It's a very nice Doodle, don't get me wrong. However, its scripting is enough to slow-down some machines. Actually, because the code behind the Doodle is written so that it'll take all the CPU cycles the machine can give it, instead of just what it needs (as tends to be the case with all animated/scripted Doodles) even newer and faster machines are affected at least a little. Certainly, though, older (mostly only XP, but even some Vista) machines are slowed almost to a crawl by some of these script-intensive Google Doodles. I'm on a very peppy machine, with tons-o'-RAM, and I'm really noticing how today's Doodle is ever-so-slightly delaying the commencing of, and then slowing screen paints in the browser window. I type very, very fast, and so though it happens not to be the case with today's Doodle, there have been animated/scripted Doodles that have actually sufficiently slowed things that I can get ahead of the typing cursor. That's very, very bad.
Yet, when people have started threads, here, to complain, many other users (who apparently don't really understand how things work, from a technological standpoint; either that or they're using machines that are so new and fast that they're simply not noticing any slowdown) chime-in and make fun of said complainers, or blame the problem on them and something they're doing wrong on their machines. Others defend the Doodles, just on principle, chastising those who deign to complain about something so seemingly innocuous and, in any case, creative and beautiful. Of course, sometimes the problem is that the complainer is too vociferous or even rude about it, and then that becomes what others notice, and for which they take pot shots at him/her. Just search phrases like "disabling Google Doodles," and variants thereof, and you'll find the kinds of threads I'm talking about; as well as an article or two which alleges to explain how to disable them... some of which work, most of which don't.
At least part of what I'm trying to achieve with this thread is to establish that while, yes, some of the complainers have maybe not approached the problem as calmly and rationally as they could have, and so they attracted the ire and disdain of those with faster machines who don't either notice or mind the slowdown, the bottom line is that the complainers are not wrong about how at least some heavily-scripted Google Doodles intolerably and unacceptably slow-down their machines...
...and that's coming from a guy (that would be me, in this case... I'm the guy) who's been an IT professional for pushing 40 years, now; and so I know what I'm talking about. Make no mistake about it: some -- not all, or even most, mind you; but at least some -- Google Doodles (at least the animated/scripted ones) really and truly do manifestly adversely affect at least some users older/slower machines. Heck, I'm even noticing how today's Mother's Day 2013 Doodle is ever-so-slightly slowing things down on my super-fast Windows 8, not-even-a-month-old machine with tons-o'-RAM!
Not everyone can afford a brand new machine every one to three years so that they're always on top of the latest technologies. I'm in the not-for-profit world, where many machines on the desktops (and by that I don't mean the Windows desktop; rather, I mean the tops of actual wooden and metal desks, in offices, in buildings) of staff and volunteers are dontated, and so are the older discards from commercial corporations... some of which are not only used, but are pretty old because they came from corporations which held-on to their XP machines as long as they could before the finally felt forced to upgrade to Win7 or, now, Win8. Get this: I have a not-for-profit client that just, a couple months ago, got a donation from a small company, and while most of the machines were XP, a couple of them were Win2K! There was even an NT machine in the group!
Yes, I realize that such old machines as an NT or Win2K one should not be put into service, no matter what; but it's still quite reasonable for XP machines to be used. And, trust me, today's heavily-scripted Mother's Day 2013 Google Doodle can bring an older machine like that to a virtual crawl! Many people's home machines are of that vintage, too; and their owners can't afford to upgrade... especially with the econmy the way it's been for the past few years!
Sadly, some who chastise them in threads where they've complained apparently forget that not everyone is as lucky as are they; that not everyone can have a new, fast, barely-affected-by-top-heavy-scripting-on-websites machines, like they can. And so some very unkind things get written in those threads (as I, sadly, predict will also be written here) in response to those complaints. Maybe it's because those who write said unkind things are just so young that they've actually not yet even been alive long enough to even have an "old" and slow machine. Young people tend to do that. Fortunately, time eventually humbles them, too. But now I digress. Sorry.
To be helpful, I thought I'd tell everyone, here, the two methods that I've tried, both of which work now, and have always worked; and, of course, with any luck, others will chime-in with what works for them. Personally, I like my two ideas best ('cause I've tried all the others), but I'm way open to reading more. So, by all means, everyone, chime-in!
But, of course, there's a bigger problem: The fact that Google is apparently not listening; that it doesn't care (or so, at least, it seems); that its, yes, very creative and talented Google Doodle department people are nevertheless continuing to write top-heavy and CPU-cycle-hungry script for these animated Doodles that is just destroying-for-a-day the usability of Google search for many users; users who, when they complain around here, are often either not believed or are dismissed, in any case, for whatever often-cruel and ignorant reasons.
Google needs to add an item to its search settings/preferences page which allows users to opt-out of Google Doodles... or, actually, even better yet, only the scripted/animated ones. The non-scripted/non-animated ones are fine. Oh, sure, conservatives hate it when someone like Cesar Chavez gets honored by a Doodle, as recently happened, just as liberals/progressive might become offended if someone like Dick Cheney were honored with one (and let's all thank our lucky stars that that both hasn't happened, and likely won't). And I don't believe that any of us such be able to opt-out of such as those kinds of Doodles, simply because they're not animated/scripted and so they can't slow-down anyone's machine. However, I suggest/propose that Google adds a switch on the search settings/preferences page which allows us to opt-out of at least the scripted/animated Google Doodles. Seriously, that option is really needed!
Is there someone here -- anyone -- who has the power/connections to ensure that someone from the Doodles department of group or whatever it's called sees this message and that suggestion/proposal? Please?
In the meantime, here are two methods that will absolutely work...
THE FIRST METHOD: People tend to forget about Google Custom Search, and how any of us may use it, for free. My first thing that I've tried, and which works quite nicely, is for me to create a web page on my own website which is blank except for my own logo at the top, and the words "Google Search" beneath my logo, and then beneath that is a simple Google Custom Search box, as one is capable of beautifully customizing any way that one wants. Even if one doesn't have one's own website, one could nevertheless build a custom search page on one's free Google Sites page!
Then one simply creates a bookmark to it and puts it onto one's Bookmars Bar in one's browser and, voila!, one has one's own fully-functional Google Search... sans any Google logo, of course. And if one wanted it to still look like a the normal Google search page, then one could just copy the normal, non-Doodle Google logo that's normally on the search page, and put it onto one's own Google Custom Search page.
The only downside to using Google Custom search is that it deprives one of having Google suggest things as one types. I don't mean the "Google Instant" results as one types: Google Instant is just awful; and I always turn that off, anyway. Rather, I'm talking about the simple suggestions that one gets as one types a search query. They can be really helpful; and, sadly, this method I'm now suggesting of using Google Custom Search deprives one of that nice little suggestions feature, in exactly the same way as typing a search query in the browser's "Address:" field (or, as Chrome calls it, the browser's "omnibox") so deprives.
THE SECOND METHOD: Load into one's browser a plug-in or extension which blocks ads using a predefined and downloadable list (such as "EasyList" or any of a number of others out there), and which also allows the user to specify anything of their own that s/he'd also like blocked. I, personally, like Adblock Plus the best, but there are others... including, come to think of it, the original Adblock, come to think of it.
Once you've got it installed, and have it auto-updating from EasyList (which, though there are others, is really all that's needed), then all one need do is go to the part of the AdBlock Plus plugin/extenion options, where one may insert one's own filters, and add these four:
So doing will produce a normal Google Search front page, but with no logo above the search box. Or if a logo appears, it's only the normal Google logo, and not a Doodle... or at least not an animated one. It takes some getting used to, of course, but it at least resolves the problem. And the reason, simply, is that if one inspects the Doodle element, one sees that that's the "logos" subdirectory on the server is the path to the Doodles.
This method could also work with the Windows HOSTS file, if one knows how to use it. My recommendation, there, is to use Abelha Digital's free, and best-of-breed, HostsMan tool to generally use, manage/update the HOSTS file using the pre-configured, often-updated, freely-downloadable MVPSHosts and hpHOST files; and then to simply add one's own URLs which may additionally be blocked. Using HostsMan is not rocket science, but it's not plug-and-play, either. One must learn how to set it up properly so that it doesn't, for example, overwrite the HOSTS file with each update so your additions aren't lost; and so that it doesn't ever optimize the HOSTS file, so it remains easy to read for manual editing, etc. You also don't really need to use the entire hpHOSTS or MVPSHosts files. You really only need to use the adservers versions; plus maybe also Peter Lowe's version; and you need to have HostsMan merge them, and auto-purge diplicates. You also need to use the little server feature, and specify that it displays the little 1x1 pixel transparent image rather than an error message so that your web pages just have either white space where ads used to be, or the text just closes-in around one-pixel transparent image so that one can't even tell that there were ever any ads there.
A third method that works (but of which I'm not a huge fan) is to always use Google Advanced Search; that is, to make that, and not the normal Google Search front page, what your browser goes to whenever you click on the "Google Search" button on your Bookmark Bar. That, too, takes some getting used to, but if you're not fluent in using the Google advanced operators to refine your searches, that Advanced Search form can be really useful.
Anyone reading this who has other methods, chime in, by all means! Please just first make sure they actually work so you don't inadvertently lead the reader, here, down the primrose path.
The bottom line, though, when it comes right dow to it, is this: Google needs to add a switch in the search settings/preferences which allows the user to opt-out of scripted/animated Google Doodles. If one opts-out, then the normal Google logo appears even on days when there's an animated/scripted Google Doodle. Non-animated/un-scripted Google Doodles, under my little proposal, here, would appear, as normal, on the days that they're there instead of the normal Google logo. No one, I think, would mind that However, if the Doodle is scripted/animated, and the user has opted-out of same, then only the normal Google logo would appear.
Or so would be things, in any case, were I king of the world...
...and, trust me, I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to ever happen! [grin]
Hope that helps!
Gregg L. DesElms
Napa, California USA
gregg at greggdeselms dot com